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Tuesday, 27 May 1902

Mr MAHON (Coolgardie) - There is one matter which I should like to mention to the Minister. I see that we are about to vote a certain sum for the office of the Public Service Commissioner. In the State of Western Australia the administration of the public service has, unfortunately, not been satisfactory to most of the employes, and they hope that an independent officer from one of the eastern States will be appointed as inspector under the Public Service Act. They think that such an officer will be in a better position to deal impartially with them, and that he will be more free from local influences than would a local officer. Of course, any qualified gentleman in the Western Australian service should be eligible for appointment as an inspector in one of the other States, but the public servants in that State fear that the influence of the old regime may be perpetuated if an inspector is selected from the local service. The disorganization of the service may be gauged from the fact that one great strike has already happened in the Post and Telegraph department, and many others have been narrowly averted. The strike to which I refer took place in 1895, but the present condition of affairs in the service is very little better than at that time. With regard to the remarks of the honorable and learned member for Parkes as to results of constructing public works on the day labour system; I may mention that in Western Australia the Government have been building railways by day labour, and have been able to carry out the work more economically and speedily than under the contract system.

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